Do you desire a fulfilling career that prioritizes social and environmental responsibilities, in business, hospitality and other industries? If so, you may want to consider the numerous online sustainability degree programs offered by Arizona State University. These programs are structured to give students the experience and knowledge necessary to create, sustain and improve upon environmental initiatives within companies and government organizations across the world.
In America, 52 percent of people are dissatisfied with the quality of the environment, the highest disapproval rating since Gallup began tracking this statistic 10 years ago. This is also the first time the majority of Americans have felt negatively about the state of the environment. Furthermore, Deloitte’s 2017 Millennial Survey, which compiled insights and opinions from over nearly 8,000 individuals born after 1982 across 30 countries, found 59 percent feel a sense of accountability for protecting the environment, yet only 38 percent agreed they had at least a fair amount of influence over this problem. Additionally, only 13 percent of millennials surveyed said their employers currently address the issues of climate change, environmental protection and preventing or addressing natural disasters.
It’s important to note that millennials believe businesses are influential and accountable in terms of supporting environmental initiatives. The study stated that this is something that businesses must accept in order to support employees’ sense of purpose and promote an engaged workforce. Overall, such research makes it clear that Americans - especially those in the younger generations - will welcome businesses that employees who help their companies take the lead on green initiatives.
This concept is already emerging in various businesses. Some of the world's biggest companies — including Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Disney, Ford, Johnson & Johnson— have implemented environmental initiatives. Such strategies are essential to attract today’s customers, particularly millennials, who are willing to pay more for sustainable offerings, according to a study from Nielsen. Additionally, professional services firm EY found that investors view businesses with environmental, social and/or governance initiatives more favorably.
According to a 2017 report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), environmentally conscious policies and clean energy industries can produce new jobs and boost economies. This area is becoming increasingly competitive on a global scale, with the OECD reporting China and India are advancing their sustainability efforts. Based on these trends, it’s likely businesses will want employees with knowledge in sustainability to take charge.
An undergraduate degree, graduate degree or certificate in sustainability can help position you to succeed in this growing field. ASU offers sustainability-related programs through many of its colleges including the ASU School of Sustainability, the first of its kind in the U.S. By completing an ASU sustainability program online, you can emerge ready to build a successful career.